Loading, Accumulating and Moving Containers - Conveyors and Turntables
Automatic packaging lines can only work as efficiently as their slowest component or process. For example, a machine that fills a hundred bottles per minute will never reach full capacity if containers can only be loaded at twenty bottles per minute. Turntables and power conveyors that assist in the loading, transfer and accumulation of containers help to ensure that the line as a whole works as efficiently as possible.
Loading containers onto a power conveyor system for an automatic liquid packaging system can be done in a number of different ways. Turntables can be used to quickly remove containers from boxes, with manual labor simply setting containers on the turntable top. From there, the turntable will guide the bottles to the outside edge of the top to be delivered to the main power conveyor. Indexing loading conveyors can also be a useful tool for getting containers to the main power conveyor. The indexing conveyor uses a loading table to file bottles into lines, each line then introduced to the main system for transfer to other packaging machines. These machines may be used for containers that are stored in groups in bags, containers that need a specific alignment or large and small containers as well.
Inline automated packaging systems will use a power conveyor system to move bottles from one machine to another. However, not all inline systems are a simple, straight line. Turns and curves on a packaging line can be handled with curved sections of conveyors, or, once again, a turntable may be used to keep things moving. Transfer turntables are used to move bottles at an angle, ninety degrees or otherwise, on a packaging line. For example, a container may be filled, but then require a ninety degree turn to reach the capper, followed by another ninety degree turn to get to a labeling machine. This format is usually referred to as a horseshoe packaging system. Transfer turntables can connect the main power conveyor at the turns, allowing bottles to flow freely from one machine to the next.
Finally, a number of packaging lines will accumulate product that is ready for the shelf to allow for the packing and shipping process. Both conveyors and turntables can be used for this process. Accumulating turntables will perform just as the name suggests. These packaging machines accumulate finished product on the turntable top, allowing labor to manually pack the products into boxes or other containers for shipping to the customer or reseller. Power conveyors can also be built with packing tables on the sides, allowing labor to simple pick items as they move down the conveyor and pack them for shipping. Accumulating turntables may also be used, to provide a serpentine accumulation area or even just a wide conveyor belt to allow products to gather.
Different methods of loading, transferring and accumulating product will work for different projects. To learn more about the different options, visit our Conveyors and Turntables section as well as our Material Handling section on the LPS website. To discuss your project with a Packaging Specialist, simply give LPS a call today!